Chernobyl to Katrina: Pundits scramble to compare Trump’s handling of coronavirus to previous catastrophes
Pundits eager to see the end of Trump have rushed to compare what they view as his failure to properly deal with the coronavirus outbreak to legendary disasters from recent and ancient history, regardless of how well those disasters reflect current events.
The president himself retweeted a meme that was quickly interpreted as comparing himself to Emperor Nero, who supposedly fiddled while Rome burned. That set off a predictable frenzy, but it was far from the only mishandling of a catastrophe Trump’s coronavirus response evoked in the #Resistance crowd.
Nero fiddles (plays golf) while Rome burns.— Frank Figliuzzi (@FrankFigliuzzi1) March 8, 2020
This is from an official from the White House, tweeting: Legally, an official White House statement. Trump mocking America for worrying about the pandemic."Fiddling while Rome burns"?You know Trump approved this first.— Dr. Robert Fortuna (@psychdr100) March 9, 2020
Others pointed to Katrina, the 2005 hurricane that devastated New Orleans while President George W. Bush mostly looked the other way, waiting critical days before sending in lifesaving aid and leaving the poor and minority populations of that city to fend for themselves.
MSNBC’s @esglaude Jr. on the Coronavirus: “This may be Donald Trump’s Katrina.”@NicolleDWallace: "Let’s just lean into that for a minute … this has the makings, structurally, of the same kind of moment” pic.twitter.com/bNjTTpbmjl— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 6, 2020
It's hard to wrap your head around how aggressively terrible the government response to coronavirus has been. This looks like the Trump administration's Hurricane Katrina. https://t.co/it3rIXeb2E— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) March 7, 2020
Calling the virus Trump’s Chernobyl was perhaps inevitable, given the Resistance’s obsession with the president’s much-hyped yet seldom-verified connections with Russia. Trump, the sages pushing this comparison claimed, was “more worried about protecting the myths that define his alternative reality than protecting vulnerable people who will die.”
“Recessions can’t be warded off with a blistering tweet in all-capital letters. You can’t blame Hillary Clinton for hospital overcrowding. The Trump playbook works when everything else is working. It falls apart when the world is falling apart.” https://t.co/6XJsGuEEBz— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) March 9, 2020
The Coronavirus crisis will be viewed only personally & politically by Trump and his loyalists. Power is the only mode they know, the way the Soviet structure dealt with Chernobyl. Blame others, cya, distract.— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) March 7, 2020
The Iran hostage crisis got some play too, with NBC’s Chuck Todd suggesting the epidemic was “not his fault, but it’s a test in real time.”
Trump’s Iran hostage crisis. “This does hold the potential, if it goes badly, to become a kind of Jimmy Carter like scenario where the public just says, ‘can’t wake up with this anxiety every day. We’ve got to have some kind of leadership’” – @MattBai on #MTP#coronaviruspic.twitter.com/uBMR7k0ocU— Brent Baker (@BrentHBaker) March 8, 2020
People have no idea how WEAK Trump is right now and he's WEAKER than Jimmy Carter was on this same day in 1980 and then US Economy was Damn Disaster and Iran had 400+ our hostages.Lots of Americans sick and tired of Batshit Crazy and Constant Bragging about one's Precious Ass! https://t.co/ql78Fk2bsPpic.twitter.com/IpGxqGFakf— Coaches Hot Seat (@CoachesHotSeat) March 8, 2020
New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman was one of the worst offenders, hopscotching from Hurricane Katrina to Iraq – via the “weapons of mass destruction” hoax his fellow Times writers were the loudest voices in pushing nearly two decades ago.
Very important thread. I've been saying that Coronavirus may be Trump's Katrina; but this makes the case that it's more like his WMD. Policy debacle bc admin made it clear what it wanted to hear, punished anyone saying differently https://t.co/vp9rtLOyPo— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) March 1, 2020
Others made fun of the vultures circling the president, suggesting the various comparisons were merely cartoonish politicization of an epidemic that hadn’t visibly sunk its teeth into the American population.
Media: The coronavirus could be Trump's Katrina! No, wait, Trump's Chernobyl! No, wait, it could be like if Chernobyl blew up and then Katrina took all the radiation and blew it everywhere, mixed in with thousands of killer sharks sucked up from the ocean depths!— John Hayward (@Doc_0) March 9, 2020
“Trump’s Chernobyl,” “Trump’s Katrina,” and “Trump’s Iran hostage crisis.”At least the lefty media never purposefully try to incite panic and overstate things. pic.twitter.com/WwGiuIKpMW— Doug Powers (@ThePowersThatBe) March 9, 2020
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